The Time I Got to be a Branded Content Professor for a Day

Jacqueline Lisk, founder of JR Lisk, a content creation and strategy agency, guest lecturing at Wesleyan University on November 18, 2021.

When branded content is done right, everybody “wins”: the audience, the sponsor, and the publisher. But we need to educate audiences about this fast-growing space: what it is, and isn’t, how it differs from traditional journalism, and how to tell if you are are engaging with content that has been paid for by a sponsor.

When Rachel Besharat Mann, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Education Studies at Wesleyan University, invited me to guest lecture at her Contemporary Literacy classes, I jumped at the chance. Dr. Mann’s course takes an interdisciplinary look at New Literacies, including media, digital, and information literacy, evaluating the construct though educational, psychological, and civic lenses. I presented a 90-minute session, “Branded Content: the Good, the bad, and the in-between,” exploring the benefits and potential pitfalls for publishers, marketers and, most importantly, audiences.

The lecture covered:
-Branded content best practices
-Branded content examples
-Branded content’s growing role in publisher monetization strategies
-Branded content risks
-Advice for audiences for recognizing and appropriately evaluating branded content

One of two lectures on branded content presented by Lisk at Dr. Mann’s Contemporary Literacy course at Wesleyan University

I enjoyed the experience immensely. I loved looking at my field through the eyes of Dr. Mann’s students. Their questions inspired and challenged me. Dr. Mann’s students enjoyed the presentation and suggested I return when Dr. Mann teaches the course again next year. (Yippee!) Thank you, Wesleyan, for having me. I look forward to seeing you in Fall 2022.

To inquire about booking Jacqueline Lisk for a branded content session at your school or company, contact

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: